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Old 08-16-17, 12:22 PM   #26
indyfabz
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Thanks for the links to the RWGPS site. It looks very interesting.

So, weather permitting, it looks like this is going to happen next month, but not quite as originally conceived. Plan is to rent one-way to Erie on 9/15 and start riding the following day. One monkey wrench thrown into the plan was the realization that the Forest Service campground on the Allegheny Reservoir I was going to use closes after Labor Day. The next established campground makes the first day over 80 miles. Not a problem during the height of summer, but the days will be shorter by then. I guess I can always disperse camp in the Allegheny National Forest if I can't make it, but not something I really want to do.


I am also now planning to head north into NY and then back into PA on Day 2 to visit a friend from back in the day. (~50 miles). She and her husband have a B&B/campground/skydiving place. I will start on my originally planned route for Day 2 and then head north at E. Smethport.


Ozs Homestay Bed and Breakfast in Pennsylvania


The place is located in PA, but there are no roads in the state that lead to it. You have to go into NY and then ride back across the border via a dirt road/driveway. On Day 3 I will leave there and re-join the original route of Day 2 to the originally planned destination. (~52 miles.) Day 4 will put me on the Pine Creek Trail. Detour off of that at Waterville and head a few miles north to either a state park or private campground. (~56 miles, much of which will be the dirt trail.) Day 5 I will finish the trail and make it all the way to the Catawissa area. (~75 miles.) White Haven/East Side the next day. (~52 miles.) From there I will ride the Lehigh Gorge Trail to Jim Thorpe and eventually pick of the D&L Trail around Palmerton (I know there is a gap between Northampton and Bethlehem), finally ending up at a motel in Easton. (~79 miles.) If I feel I have the legs the next day I will ride the nearly 78 miles to my home in Philly. If not, I will sleep in and do a short day (~18 miles) to Upper Black Eddy, PA. There is a campground there that charges cyclists only $10. It's dated, but wooded and quiet. Will then finish on Sunday.
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Old 09-06-17, 10:21 AM   #27
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Indy, Not sure which campgrounds you were checking on but the Buckaloons CG just before Warren is open until well into October...if that helps you. They are part of the US National Forest system also.

I looked at Ozs B&B site, it looks like a nice place.

Good luck with your journey and hope you have all sunny days.
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Old 09-06-17, 12:34 PM   #28
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Indy, Not sure which campgrounds you were checking on but the Buckaloons CG just before Warren is open until well into October...if that helps you. They are part of the US National Forest system also.

My original hope was to stay at Dew Drop on the reservoir. Must have ignored Buckaloons because it seemed like too short of a day based on my original plan. But it very well may be useful. Assuming I do go to Oz on Day 2, I have a choice of: (A) 85 miles on Day 1 and 47 miles on Day 2 or (B ) 56 miles on Day 1 and 77 miles on Day 2.


I am liking the sound of B, especially with the more limited daylight and the fact that the final 22 miles of that Day 2 are pretty tame, with only 600' of climbing. Moreover, groceries are available in Youngsville, a scant 5 miles west of Buckaloons. At a minimum, I now have a great option in case 85 miles doesn't seem feasible.


Muchas gracias, amigo!
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Old 09-07-17, 06:14 AM   #29
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Indy,

There's also a private campground, Woodhaven Campgrounds, on Rt. 59 up top of the long climb after the bridge going over the reservoir. It's just before where Rt. 321 goes south. It's been a while since I've been over that way and am not sure if they would be open then or if they're even in business still. Might be worth a call. It would give you those few extra miles you wanted on the first day. I'm only guessing it would be about 15-20 miles further than Buckaloons.

Muchas gracias, amigo!

I don't know Spanish but I think you said "Thanks friend."

So...back at you but not in Spanish..."you're very welcome and anytime I can help a friend out."
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Old 09-07-17, 06:31 AM   #30
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There's also a private campground, Woodhaven Campgrounds, on Rt. 59 up top of the long climb after the bridge going over the reservoir. It's just before where Rt. 321 goes south. It's been a while since I've been over that way and am not sure if they would be open then or if they're even in business still. Might be worth a call. It would give you those few extra miles you wanted on the first day. I'm only guessing it would be about 15-20 miles further than Buckaloons.
It's still there and open. That's the best case scenario plan, but it's about 30 farther on PA 59, which would make for about an 85 mile day. Google Maps shows it in the wrong place, about 3 miles west of where it actually is. There is a KOA pretty much next door, but the reviews I have read about it make it sound like a total dump. More than one reviewer has asked "How is this a KOA?" And it's more than $40 for a tent site.
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Old 09-13-17, 10:15 AM   #31
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https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6762091
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Old 09-13-17, 12:45 PM   #32
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Did something similar back in 2012 but stayed on the GAP to the end and then took U.2. 220 Bedford. From there I followed most of Bike Route S until Philly, with some deviations in Lancaster, Chester and Montgomery Counties based on personal knowledge. Picked up the SRT in Mont Clare.


How did you like the Pike to Bike?


Heading to Erie on Friday to start my ride home. Hopefully going to meet up with an old college friend on Sunday. She's originally from Warren, PA and will just happen to visiting her mother this weekend. I will be staying just west of Warren Saturday night and passing through town on Sunday. I haven't seen her in decades.
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Old 09-14-17, 11:05 AM   #33
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Did something similar back in 2012 but stayed on the GAP to the end and then took U.2. 220 Bedford. From there I followed most of Bike Route S until Philly, with some deviations in Lancaster, Chester and Montgomery Counties based on personal knowledge. Picked up the SRT in Mont Clare.


How did you like the Pike to Bike?


Heading to Erie on Friday to start my ride home. Hopefully going to meet up with an old college friend on Sunday. She's originally from Warren, PA and will just happen to visiting her mother this weekend. I will be staying just west of Warren Saturday night and passing through town on Sunday. I haven't seen her in decades.
Actually, I have only ever been on the abandoned turnpike at night. Twice. Very creepy both times, but I was with friends. I'd like to go back on it during daytime and take my time / look around a bit.
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Old 09-14-17, 01:55 PM   #34
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Actually, I have only ever been on the abandoned turnpike at night. Twice. Very creepy both times, but I was with friends. I'd like to go back on it during daytime and take my time / look around a bit.
Were you riding at night on the Pike to Bike? Oooo, that would be very spooky!
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Old 09-15-17, 08:13 AM   #35
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Were you riding at night on the Pike to Bike? Oooo, that would be very spooky!
Yeah, it was weird. I was only slightly creeped out since I was not alone when I did it.
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Old 09-26-17, 11:27 AM   #36
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Good luck with your journey and hope you have all sunny days.

Well...It certainly was sunny--and warm/hot and humid every day after the dense fog burned off. Fog which kept anything from drying and soaked my tent. I think I may have needed my sleeping bag maybe two nights. No long into each day I felt like I was riding in a wet diaper. Had headwinds most of each day thanks to the southeasterly flow that was brining in the warm, humid air. When I reached home early Sunday afternoon I went straight to my local to catch the Eagles' game. It was 90 degrees and hit 92 in the city.


Total mileage (including "grocery" mileage) came to about 545 in 9 days, with one short day of only 25. I did end up staying at Buckaloons the first night. Nice place, but no good river access. Glad I didn't try to make Oz because it would have required a very long first day. I never would have made the requisite mileage that day because PA 59 was undergoing road work for 9 miles after the climb out of the reservoir area. They had milled the top 3" of the road, but not the shoulder. However, to prevent the roadway from becoming one long culvert during a rain storm, they made 2.5' wide longitudinal cuts down the level of the roadway for drainage. It was impossible to simply ride through them. I had to stop, walk the bike across each one and then start up again. I finally got sick of doing and started riding the milled road. When traffic came towards me I looked back. If there was traffic coming from behind I would hop back on the shoulder to let it pass.


Leaving camp the third morning I came face to face (~20') with a very large (~350+ lbs.) black bear who had been dumpster diving at the crappy campground where I stayed. Quite a tense moment that pissed. The place knows it has a bear problem but refuses to get proper dumpsters. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and I didn't have to open up a can of whoop ass on the big guy. Below is a photo of the raided dumpsters I took after he wandered off.


A few days later, while riding the Pine Creek Trail south of Ansonia, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Turned out to be a small black bear. He jumped into the creek and made his way across. I managed to stop and get a few shots of him when he reached the opposite bank. Don't have that one handy at the moment.



Some seriously tough hills in places. The one about 6 miles east of Jersey Shore had a ruling grade of 11%. I thought my legs were going to snap. The worst was the 3.5 mile climb out of Jim Thorpe. I thought it would never end. A couple of other 3 mile climbs that were challenging, but not as bad as I thought they were going to be.


For the most part, the trail riding was monotonous, with the exception being the upper portion of the Pine Creek Trail, where I also saw a bald eagle. The D&L Trail has a huge gap between Whitehall and Allentown. I had plotted a route to connect back up with the trail only to find that the last rode I was supposed to take had been converted into a one way road in the wrong direction. It was narrow with a blind curve so I didn't want to chance it. Ended up sitting by the side of a busy road plotting an alternative to get back on the trail. Once I got back on, portions of the trail through Allentown/Bethlehem and south were not well signed, but I survived and made it to Easton some 83 miles and 11.5 hrs. later.


Other critters seen were several blue herons, a fox, a pair of ospreys and a large porcupine while riding the Lehigh Gorge Trail before sunrise. While reading one night I heard some chattering in the trees. Turned on the headlamp and saw the two fellows pictured below. Heard were but not seen were coyotes and barred and screech owls.


While this trip had its moments, all things considered (scenery, traffic, road surfaces, weather, campgrounds, etc.), my second crossing of PA (starting from Warren, OH) is still my favorite. I will have a photo album maybe next week.
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File Type: jpg dumpster.jpg (97.0 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg possums3.jpg (98.5 KB, 75 views)

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Old 09-27-17, 01:01 PM   #37
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indy,

Seems like you had a great trip. You rose to the challenges and made it thru. Hope you can post some more photos. Of the few things in life that bother me bears are at the top of the list. I don't envy you for seeing that big boy. Good trip report.

Tony
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Old 09-28-17, 08:04 AM   #38
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Thanks. It was definitely the Tour de Challenge. There was at least one annoying adversity every day. I even flatted one day. I hadn't flatted on tour since 2014. My previous flat before that was in 2009.


Some of it was operator error. The biggest "DOH!" moment was in White Haven. I was camping about 1.1 miles up hill from town, where there was a laundry, liquor store and grocery store. Eden for me. I decided to ride into town, and shop while I did a load, and ride back to camp. As I was leaving I noticed the campground had laundry facilities. Great, I thought. I will leave the laundry here. One less thing to carry back up the steep hill. Left one of the two rear panniers in the campground laundry room and bombed down the hill. Pulled up the grocery store, opened the pannier to get my wallet and realized that I had left that pannier back in the campground laundry room and ridden down with the one with the clothes. I wanted to cry. Had to go back up the hill and swap panniers. The final kick in the pants came after dinner, when I discovered that the change machine in the laundry room wasn't working and the campground office was closed for the evening.

I looked through all the photos the other day. There are not many for nine days, and they are not all that interesting.

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Old 09-29-17, 08:35 AM   #39
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The little guy I saw crossing Pine Creek while riding the Pine Creek Trail between Ansonia and Jersey Shore, PA.
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Old 11-11-17, 03:59 PM   #40
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iHope you can post some more photos.
Bump.

A photo album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...57685810338542

The route that ended at my local to watch the Eagles-Giants:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25710594

That spike at mile 250 was killer.
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Old 11-11-17, 06:28 PM   #41
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Bump.

A photo album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...57685810338542

The route that ended at my local to watch the Eagles-Giants:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25710594

That spike at mile 250 was killer.

indy, That was quite a trip for sure. Great pics too. I recognized the Allegheny Resv. immediately. That's a hell of a climb going east after going over the bridge at the reservoir...a long steady climb. But that climb at the 250 mark looked like the real test. It had to be a killer.

Well, that trip's in the books, what's planned for next year?? lol

Great trip, Tony
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Old 11-13-17, 11:42 AM   #42
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Bump.

A photo album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...57685810338542

The route that ended at my local to watch the Eagles-Giants:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25710594

That spike at mile 250 was killer.
Nice pics.
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